A problem plaguing birders around the world is unwanted guests, and when you are feeding your birds the very best in bird feed (thank you!), it is not hard to imagine why.  In addition to the number of feathered guests our bird feeders enjoy, they are also occasional feeding grounds for a variety of mammals including (but not limited to) raccoons, bears, deer, chipmunks, and squirrels, to name a few.

While not all birders are concerned about who or what is utilizing their bird feed, there are some of us out there that prefer to leave the good stuff for the birds.  In any case, when it comes to feeding hummingbirds, there are a number of guests who have the ability to make a mess of things and ultimately become rather bothersome to many of us.  Those guests often come in the form of small insects such as ants that can very quickly take over a hummingbird feeder given their strength in numbers.

 

While they are a snack that some hummingbirds do enjoy, they have the ability to clog feeding ports and ultimately deter potential perches on your hummingbird feeder.  So what’s the solution?

Ant Moats

Yes, there is such a thing, and depending on the model of hummingbird feeder you have in your yard, they can be external or built-in features.  Given the fact that we only carry hummingbird feeders with built-in ant moats, we consider them to be the best solution to combat any onslaught of ants your feeder might experience.

Located in the centre of the feeder, these moats act as a net to catch any incoming insects as they work their way down the hanging brackets above the feeder itself.  Containing a small reservoir, the moat requires about half an inch of water in the bottom to be effective.  As ants and other insects work their way down the hanger, they end up in the depths of the water below.

Additionally, another strong point regarding these systems is that at times the hummingbirds can be found feeding directly from the ant moat itself, on the ants rather than the nectar located inside the feeder.